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10 March 2018

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turcopolier

All

The Stormy Daniels thing reminds of an occasion when Nell Gwyn, Charles II's mistress, was taunted by a London mob with "French whore!" She leaned out the window of the carriage and cried out "No, it is I, the English whore!" The mob cheered her. pl

ISL

Dear Colonel,

in fairness to our friends the democrats, the Dems. are proposing an infrastructure plan that is woefully inadequate, and propose to rescind the recent tax cuts.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/07/senate-democrats-tax-cuts-infrastructure-392523

Personally, I am just not feeling the electoral excitement.

Of course those suffering TDS (trump derangement syndrome) will applaud undoing Trump agenda, but then again, they were going to vote Democrat anyway and cut a check, which IMO is the real point. Funny how now they want to do infrastructure, but not during the Obama years.

Personally, wrt the tax cuts, I am ambivalent. Anyone who pays anywhere near the official rate needs to hire a good tax accountant. Net effect on businesses that already take all available deductions will be a percent or two on gross. A 2% weaker dollar would have a far bigger benefit for businesses (but worse for the banks).

Charles

Kim Jong Un and a resolution to a 66 year stalemate.
Or
Stormy Daniels and a few 30 minutes interludes between making deals and getting things done.
Oh me oh my the weight of these decisions is just hilarious.

turcopolier

ISL
the only reason the individual tax rate is important is the effect on LLCs and S corps. Nevertheless, the corporate tax rate cut is the more important. pl

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Have you seen the movie “Wind River” yet? It is the best depiction I’ve seen of the USA descending into tribalism due to the loss of jobs, the drug epidemic and environmental exploitation.

NBC News daily has Kumbaya propaganda to facilitate importing of cheap labor and goods. But, what good is a service economy if there is no service? Just like Soviet propaganda, corporate media today is in service of the oligarch owners and sold out party elite. It tries to avoid the truth. Although, NBC did report on the astronomical rise in cost of ambulance service. A couple thousand dollars for mile and half trip to the hospital. They said it was due to the 2008 recession and the cutting of local volunteer emergency services to save tax money.

Rather than tax the wealthy and corporations, the middle class is going into debt to pay for education, medical bills, and $40 Northern Virginia one-way tolls. Federal taxes on the middle class support the endless wars.

I agree the Democrats shot themselves in the foot because they are unconcerned for the bottom 80% except for their identity issues. They serve their paymasters. The recent Italian election documents the complete collapse of left leaning parties that ignored the plight of the workers in the West. To me, to win, the left in America must write off student debt, implement Medicare for All, end the forever wars and tax George Soros, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Pierre Omidyar, the Koch Brothers and the Walton Family to pay for it. To work, criminal bankers need to be jailed and corporate boards required to manage for long term profits that benefit society not just quarterly and themselves only.

Eric Newhill

Well that settles it. I thought that maybe the Dems were just acting delusional to coddle their base. This settles it. They actually ARE delusional.

So in addition to replacing us with an infinite number of illiterate third worlders, taking our guns and jailing us for using the wrong pronoun out of an ever evolving list of hundreds they are going to take more of our hard earned money. Yeah, how can they not sweep the 2018 elections with a platform like that. Sheesh.

Tyler

Trump is going to be President forever.

different clue

I never did support the Trump tax cuts. I regard them as being mainly mainstream Republican tax cuts. President Trump supports them and signed them for all the economic benefits reasons he cited and cites. But the Republicans' main reason for seeking them remains their long term goal of destroying Social Security and privatizing the Social Security money . . . the money I and everyone else have been pre-paying double for ever since the Great Reagan Rescue of 1983. They sought these tax cuts in order to increase vastly the deficit and the debt. Their expectation is that the next inevitable recession
will make the debt so-nearly-unpayable as to give them another opportunity to accuse Social Security of causing the debt and of being unaffordable.

So I would support cancellation of the Republican tax cuts for that reason. I would be defending my Social Security against longstanding Republican efforts to destroy it and retro-steal all the money I have been paying ( and will keep paying) every since 1983. (Actually, since 1980 when I worked at half the rate of FICA taxation as after 1983). But then, I have said years ago in comments that I would like to see taxes re-raised against the Bush's Base class to recover all the Social Security pre-payment money which was future-looted-from to give the Bush's Base class a tax cut instead. A tax cut which President Obama supported and ratified when he conspired with Boehner and McConnell to make the self-sunsetting Bush Tax cuts into permanent tax cuts. That's why I now call them the Bushobama Tax cuts now.

There is boondoggle and there is needed repair. The "high speed railway" proposed and haltingly begun in California is a boondoggle. Fixing all the rotting and decaying bridges and all the potholes is needed repair. ( Come to Michigan to see some impressive potcraters). The present and future space program is an investment in possible futures and in technological advances. Government spending can be a boondoggle but it doesn't have to be.

At least some of the Democrats have decided to run on something specific instead of vague emotional appeals only. Something specific can either be voted "for" or "against".

(The Democrats should remember that "tax restoration" may not be enough to get all the votes they think they are due. There are enough bitter berners out here who remain convinced that applying political chemotherapy against the malignant metastatic clintonoma and the Yersiniobama pestis plague infection afflicting the Democratic Party is more important right now than "more democrats". There is, and will be, a growing effort to defeat every piece of Clintonite scum and Obamazoid filth which dares to call itself a "Democrat" in every election that one of these things runs in. The Democratic Party has to be made into a New Deal Party again, and that means purging and burning every trace of Clinton and Obama out of the Party. If any DLC/Third Way/Hamilton Project/ Pink Pussy Hat/ Rainbow Oligarchy Democrats are reading this, they should consider themselves warned.)

Karl Kolchak

If Trump's evangelical base was willing to ignore the p-grabber tape, I doubt this will do much to change their minds. Don't tell CNN, they were running the story 24/7 even as the Senate, including many Democrats such as the odious Mark Warner, was voting to roll back the fairly toothless restrictions on the big banks passed after the 2008 financial crash.

This is the REAL reason Trump will not be removed even if impeached--he's too valuable to the political class as a never ending media freak show that allows them to get away with whatever they want while the idiot public is distracted.

Jack

Exactly, Sir, it is the corporate tax cut that is the big deal because it starts to level the playing field for small businesses. The largest corporations hardly pay any tax anyway because they have the armies of tax lawyers and accountants to leverage all the loopholes their lobbying includes in the tax code.Intel's effective tax rate is 15% and GE's is in the single digits.

The tax cuts for small business is a big deal for many in the middle class.

frances

Wonderful, I thought I was reading the Onion for a moment. IMO The Dems really need some leadership with real vision or they will be a voiceless Party for the next five to ten years.
With the "that woman" story lapping at Trump's heels I think he will move heaven and earth to put together a deal with North and South Korea, for a real deal will involve them both. I also think now that Putin has shown the US military to be up against it if they do attack Russia or Russian interests he may have the steam to shut down some bases, one can only hope.
Thanks for the article!

Fred

Col.,

Lovely historical anecdote. If the President of the Deplorables ever starts slowing down he should have an international search for a younger model. I suggest an open casting call in LA with that Weinstein couch somebody trolled the Oscars with. I would love to see Trump tweet to Meryl Streep and Oprah asking for referrals "just like you did for Harvey".

Huckleberry

Pro-Borders, pro-infrastructure, pro-worker tariffs, pro-peace:

Trump has taken every issue the Dems had except identity, grievance and global warming.

mikee

Please define middle-class. Is it those above the poverty line? Or over 100K-250K a year in income?

The problem with the middle-class, as I see it, is that it continues to shrink in size (when adjusted for inflation).

kooshy

“Trump's base knew what they were voting for”

Yes sir, they sure did, but ironically, the very democratic party of ostriches they don’t know that. That is till they decide to pull their heads out of their jolly fat arses.

Morongobill

How about the far left d's call for eliminating ICE? Boy that's a wave that chey can surf all the way to victory

JTMcPhee

The “middle class” seems to be nothing but a hollowed-out chimaera. Looks like in reality there are only two (2) classes: the Rich Class and their immediate enablers, and everyone else, often referred to as “the 99%.” What to make of Warren Buffett’s several observations, stated in several ways, that “There is class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning,” https://www.marketwatch.com/story/rich-class-beating-99-to-a-pulp-2011-11-01 , or this one:

“Actually, there’s been class warfare going on for the last 20 years, and my class has won. We’re the ones that have gotten our tax rates reduced dramatically.
If you look at the 400 highest taxpayers in the United States in 1992, the first year for figures, they averaged about $40 million of [income] per person. In the most recent year, they were $227 million per person — five for one. During that period, their taxes went down from 29 percent to 21 percent of income. So, if there’s class warfare, the rich class has won.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/theres-been-class-warfare-for-the-last-20-years-and-my-class-has-won/2011/03/03/gIQApaFbAL_blog.html?utm_term=.e769ccc4f40a

Kind of hard to operate on the very residual notion that we live in a “democracy,” when the follow-the-money mapping makes it clear that “democracy,” like “the middle class,” only exists if one sets up the definitions of both in a very careful, lawyerly way, to exclude the notions most people have, the warm and fuzzy old beliefs and quaint habits of thought so many of us have, about both of those nominal hallmarks of the Republic. “I did not have sex with that woman... I did not inhale, and didn’t enjoy it if I did...”

jonst

I don't know what to make--if anything--of the Stormy Daniels matter. I don't think it will hurt Trump. However, as a 30 year lawyer the 130k lawsuit, minus expenses and a third to the lawyer for his cut, make this a nuisance lawsuit to me. A 'go away' legal action. If she really had something she would have, and could have, held out for more than her final cut. But the lawyer did pick his timing right to bring the action.

Eric Newhill

JTMcPhee and Mikee,
I don't know where you guys live, but everywhere I look there is a thriving middle class. I see plenty of two income families bringing in $150K or more per annum. These are school teachers, small business owners, construction/trades, white collar workers.

All of these families are doing well; regular family vacations, luxury items like boats, nice enough homes with all the latest electronics.

No, they're not up there at Trump or Clinton levels of wealth and luxury, but they're doing better than 99% of people in the world. They have all they need and then some.

There's this weird attitude that some people have - I think it originates from jealousy - that if someone is truly wealthy, then the rest of us can't be happy. That there is a fixed amount of money such that, if the truly wealthy get a larger %, there is less for the rest. A lot of policy discussion seems to be based on this kind of erroneous thinking. In reality, it is possible for Warren Buffet to have a $gazillion and for you to still make a comfortable six figure income because the amount of money is not fixed - or even to make a $gazillion yourself. If you create value then more money is created to reflect that value.

The Twisted Genius

Eric Newhill,

What you describe is not middle class. If a family is bringing in $150K or more a year, it is well within the top 5% in the US. You and I live among the rich. With a wife and two sons, I only broke over $100K in my last few years of working. I considered myself comfortably middle class, even upper middle class.

LeaNder

Tyler, forever signals what exactly? Post his reelection in 2020, that is?

Eric Newhill

TTG,
Actually, I don't physically live among the rich. I just commute to where $150K + incomes are normal. I live in rural environment; lots of farms (soy and corn primarily), local govt employees (a state trooper makes around $90K in NY), salt mine workers (around $70K with a little OT), small shops and service industry employees and, yes, a fair amount of welfare.

However, some qualification is needed here. There are many people I know who live on land and in homes inherited from previous generations. These are owned free and clear having been paid off many years ago. The acreage, if any, is dedicated to farming. So property taxes are minimal or non-existent due to ag breaks. These people can appear to be poor on paper. In fact, they work at maintaining that appearance. They do part time construction, maybe work at the gas station, maybe repair cars, that sort of thing. So they make far less than $150K. However, they are debt free. They have learned to game the system so well that they are even receiving disability benefits, govt subsidized healthcare, food stamps, all kinds of services. I know these people pretty well. Thus I question some of the statistics about income and how they are applied to paint a picture of "wealth" in America.

I was a GS before I went to grad school and then entered the white collar private sector. So I know what that is like. My wife was a school teacher during that period. We really weren't that bad off.

The definition of "middle class" is slippery. I always assumed it meant one could afford a modest, but sound, vinyl sided little house in a neat neighborhood with a bowling alley and a sports bar or two as well as a relatively new car, a dog and two children with new shoes and clothes from a low end chain store like Sears . $90K gets you there. If both Husband and wife are working low end jobs, voila! I do think that $150K is just a slightly more luxurious version of the same.

When I go to corp HQ in CT, I see many many household in the $150K to $300K range. These are two income low to mid level managers or IT types. None of these people would consider themselves well-off b/c they are comparing themselves to the executive class that makes much more. It all relative.

I do think that the prevalent phenomenon of single women raising children contributes a lot to the troublesome statistics. Now we are down to one income earner and that earner has less time and energy to advance into higher paying slots. How is raising the corporate tax rate going to impact her situation?

I think Col Lang's point about corporations being of the S-Corp and LLC type is a critical one to process. The DNC is playing like the new tax laws are a huge favor to the super wealthy super powerful mega-corps. In reality, it is also a boon to many small business owners. I know some mom and pop operations who are already planning good things around the upcoming reductions. The super mega corp that I work for is using the tax cuts to do good things too; like increased bonuses this year (just got mine and it was significantly larger than any I've received before), increased 401K contributions, increased raises (got one of those too) and an increased minimum wage for our lowest level employees (up to $14/hr I think it was). The company made sure to make it known that all this is coming from the tax breaks Trump got them. Everyone knows that. Now the Ds want to take it all away. Jackasses.

JTMcPhee

I live in Pinellas County, FL. I don’t know where YOU live, Eric, but there are darn few people in the category you describe in my area, those “comfortable” people who I guess you believe are debt-free and have “investments” and all those markers of “middle classdom” inherent in your comment. I’d suggest you get out in the country more, to see how the bottom 85 or 90% live. It’s not like there’s a dearth of actual published information on the state of wealth inequality (let alone INCOME inequality) across the country. https://inequality.stanford.edu/publications/20-facts-about-us-inequality-everyone-should-know And of course there is no fixed amount of money in a place like the US of A, which still has a sovereign currency and the gov’t can push as much as the politicians care to into favored sectors of the economy , at will — as in trillions to the banksters, and more trillions to the purveyors of Forever War and its armaments. I would guess you would be in favor of privatizing Social Security and similar “conservative” goals?” And I think it is a true statement that rich folks taking ever larger cuts of the real economic wealth of the nation, and financializing and renting it back, does indeed make the rest of us mopes “unhappy.” And how many of us have even a prayer of winning the Tech Lotto or pulling off scams like Musk, thus “earning gazillion$?” Or dare one ask whether such scams should even be allowed, let alone applauded?

turcopolier

JT McPhee

if you are going to devote yourself to comments that are endless Marxist bitching - go somewhere else. pl

Nancy K

That won't make him a president, it all make him a dictator, which I'm sure he will enjoy more.

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